Howard Ingleson, MD of Syfer Technology.

100-plus jobs set to go as edge-of-Norwich firm plans to out-source its work to China

Thursday, November 8, 2012
4.48 PM

A Norfolk hi-tech electronics manufacturing firm has revealed plans to out-source its production work to China with the loss of more than 100 jobs locally.

Syfer Technology’s announcement has been met with anger with union Unite which has accused the Arminghall-based firm of “kicking workers in the teeth”.

If the proposals go ahead, some 120 full-time production staff could be affected by the move.

Unite has now called on the company to go back to the drawing board and consult properly with the union, which represents the majority of the workforce.

Ivan Crane, Unite’s regional officer, said: “Unite has met the company and made it clear that we would oppose this decision.

“Syfer is a profitable company we can not see any reason why it needs to relocate this work.

“Syfer’s decision is a kick in the teeth to the loyal workforce. We believe management needs to go back to the drawing board and consult properly with Unite.”

Syfer, which was taken over by the Dover Corporation (USA) in 2000, makes hi-tech electronic equipment for defence and other industries. Its non-defence work is planned to be out-sourced despite the company’s latest results showing over £5 million of profit.

The growth in profit has been put down to export sales, especially in the Far East, prompting Syfer bosses to consider taking space in an existing Dover manufacturing plant in Suzhou, a major city located in eastern China.

Managing director Howard Ingleson said: “Many of our raw materials come from that area of the world and, with much of our sales going that way too, it is right that we consider manufacturing there too. The opportunity of an existing Dover factory would also mean we could be up and running much quicker.”

Do you work for Syfer Technology? Will your job be affected? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.